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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

IRS Procedures - Collection Procedural Questions

  1. I am unable to pay my delinquent taxes. Will the IRS accept an Offer in Compromise?
  2. Is there any special assistance available if you are experiencing economic harm or a systemic problem, or are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels?
  3. Can I make installment payments on the amount I owe?
  4. What kind of interest and penalties will I be charged for filing and paying my taxes late?

Rev. date: 08/07/2012

I am unable to pay my delinquent taxes. Will the IRS accept an Offer in Compromise?

You may qualify for an Offer in Compromise if you are unable to pay your taxes in full or if you are facing economic hardship or other special circumstances.
Note: Offer in Compromise Application Fee - Your offer must include the $150 application fee. If you are requesting a low-income exception of the fee, you must complete section 4 of the Form 656, Offer in Compromise.
Offers received without the $150 fee or a completed section 4 of the Form 656 will not be accepted for processing.  Please see Step Six on Page 4 of the Form 656-B, Offer in Compromise Booklet, for more information on the application fee and to determine if you qualify for the low-income exception.

Rev. date: 08/06/2012

Is there any special assistance available if you are experiencing economic harm or a systemic problem, or are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels?

Yes. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS whose employees assist taxpayers who are experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels, or who believe that an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. 
The service is free, confidential, tailored to meet your needs, and available for businesses as well as individuals. There is at least one local taxpayer advocate in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Because advocates are part of the IRS, they know the tax system and how to navigate it.
You can contact TAS by:
To get a copy of From 911 or learn more about TAS go to Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Rev. date: 08/23/2012

Can I make installment payments on the amount I owe?

Yes. If you cannot pay the full amount due as shown on your return, you can ask to make monthly installment payments.  If your request to pay in installments is granted, the following conditions apply:
To request an installment agreement send Form 9465 (PDF), Installment Agreement Request, with your return.  To request a payroll deduction installment agreement, use Form 2159, Payroll Deduction Agreement.
To request a direct debit installment agreement, use Form 433-D, Installment Agreement.
Advantages of a direct debit installment agreement to the taxpayer include:
You should receive a response within 30 days if you submit the form with your return.  For more details on installment payments, refer to the references below or call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040.

Rev. date: 08/17/2012

What kind of interest and penalties will I be charged for filing and paying my taxes late?

Interest is compounded daily and charged on any unpaid tax from the due date of the return (without regard to any extension of time to file) until the date of payment.
In addition, if you didn't pay on time, you'll generally have to pay a late payment penalty.
If you did not file on time and owe tax, you may owe an additional penalty for failure to file unless you can show reasonable cause.
Note: If you feel a penalty or interest is assessed in error, you may refer to Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer.